As Nigeria is giving finishing touches to documents for the access to the latest grant of $150m from the world lender, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has concluded training for new local investors in who wish to explore export opportunities in the nation’s solid minerals space.
The Regional Coordinator, South West, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Babatunde Faleke, explained that the move by the council was to replicate its zero to export initiative for agro commodities to drive growth and development of Nigeria’s huge natural resource endowments.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the agency’s zero-to-export training on exploring the potential in the solid minerals sector, he said that the initiative would also give would-be exporters the opportunity to learn from an expert about the processes, procedures and how to identify markets for their products.
According to him, “This is our normal zero to export initiative for agro commodities, but this time it is for solid minerals. This scheme is based on metals and non-metals. We have brought an expert who will take people through the whole experience. The potential in the solid mineral space are under-utilized and enormous. This training is for people who have interest in becoming exporters of solid minerals. We are using this training to teach people the process, how to identify markets for their produce and equip them with the necessary technical know-how on alternatives to go about their businesses,” he said.
According to him, mentoring and handholding programmes to the point of exporting will be deployed in order to make them competitive and attractive in the global market.
“We are bringing these exporters together to form cooperatives and we are targeting June for them to start exporting solid minerals. We are also looking at coordinating and formalizing their operations to ensure that real export of solid minerals is carried out in this country. This workshop will serve as a launch pad to get more exporters in the country,” he added.
In his remarks, the Project Consultant, Zero-to-Export, Kola Awe, stressed that the initiative is first of its kind aimed at identifying export potential of Nigeria’s solid minerals sector, maintaining that the programme is targeted at raising effective, efficient and knowledgeable exporters that will tap into the sector.
He said “What we are trying to with this initiative is that it is the first of its kind. We are looking at the participation and interest of people. We are trying to replicate our zero to export programme for agro commodities.”
Participants were encouraged to form cooperative body and start to look for ways to start exporting solid minerals from Nigeria especially those in the South West region.